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View Full Version : If I wanted to change out the original tuners on my vintage Martin tenor...



bearbike137
05-04-2016, 04:07 AM
... what would you recommend? I don't want to drill the headstock. The uke is a 1940s-1950's model with original Champion tuners:

90840

Mivo
05-04-2016, 06:31 AM
Not helpful, but I wouldn't replace original tuners on a 60-80 year old instrument.

bearbike137
05-04-2016, 07:23 AM
Not helpful, but I wouldn't replace original tuners on a 60-80 year old instrument.

Why? If you don't have to drill, they are easily changed in and out.

wayfarer75
05-04-2016, 07:54 AM
Why? If you don't have to drill, they are easily changed in and out.

I agree. Tuners break, there are better and newer ones. Even if you have to drill, I consider it upgrading. I don't know how well they'd fit into your current holes, but I have a uke with the Gotoh UPTs and think they're great. Nice and smooth.

johnson430
05-04-2016, 09:39 AM
I agree. Tuners break, there are better and newer ones. Even if you have to drill, I consider it upgrading. I don't know how well they'd fit into your current holes, but I have a uke with the Gotoh UPTs and think they're great. Nice and smooth.

+1 for the Gotoh UPT. They are amazing tuners. I will never use normal friction tuners again.

WhenDogsSing
05-05-2016, 01:06 AM
The Gotoh UPTs are very nice. You will, however, have to slightly ream out the tuner holes on the headstock for them to fit.

UkerDanno
05-05-2016, 04:08 AM
I too, always wondered if there was a drop-in solution. Grover should make a reproduction!

blue_knight_usa
05-05-2016, 04:38 AM
I have a 1932 (very very rare) Style 2 and pulled off the originals and use Ping tuners. I only use them because they dropped in perfectly and I have washers that fit perfectly in the holes. This allows me easy tuning, and if I sell the uke I can easily put the originals back on. I only used them because I would never modify a vintage instrument.

strumsilly
05-05-2016, 04:50 AM
Not helpful, but I wouldn't replace original tuners on a 60-80 year old instrument.
I would if the originals don't work properly. I had a martin tenor with the Grovers with the fiber washers. I couldn't get them to work properly, even with new fiber washers that Grover sent me gratis. I replaced them with Grover geared . Now that UPT are available I would use them, they are a little clunky looking but are smoother than the pegheads I tried.

coolkayaker1
05-05-2016, 05:13 AM
I, too, have used Ping friction tuners ($13, Amazon, at least in the past) on two of my sopranos for a drop and play option. I don't know if they fit a tenor, Steve. I think it was Jay, in fact, who turned me on to them (he replied below).

Besides a small amount of reaming, I'd be afraid of the thick barrel on UPTs doing wide ring damage to the rear of the headstock; although I've owned UPTs on other ukes, I've never tried them on a Martin, so my fear may be unfounded.

Nice uke! I love those original friction tuners (they need to be tightened more than one would think and then they tune well, including small adjustments; if they are "loose" at all, adjusting is a bear!) so, if you are selling them, I'd be game to buy them. Thanks.

strumsilly
05-05-2016, 06:23 AM
I, too, have used Ping friction tuners ($13, Amazon, at least in the past) on two of my sopranos for a drop and play option. I don't know if they fit a tenor, Steve. I think it was Jay, in fact, who turned me on to them (he replied below).

Besides a small amount of reaming, I'd be afraid of the thick barrel on UPTs doing wide ring damage to the rear of the headstock; although I've owned UPTs on other ukes, I've never tried them on a Martin, so my fear may be unfounded.

Nice uke! I love those original friction tuners (they need to be tightened more than one would think and then they tune well, including small adjustments; if they are "loose" at all, adjusting is a bear!) so, if you are selling them, I'd be game to buy them. Thanks.
I don't know if you were talking to me, but I still have them with the "new" washers. pm me , I'll sell them.

Soundbored
05-05-2016, 06:46 AM
... what would you recommend? I don't want to drill the headstock. The uke is a 1940s-1950's model with original Champion tuners:

90840

I changed all my ukes to the nickel and white Grover geared tuners. I'm not a fan of friction tuners in looks or functionality.

In case you change your mind about drilling, for that mod you might need a slight adjustment to the hole size, and the tiny mounting screw holes of course. Stew-mac sells a really nice self-centering hand reamer that worked perfectly.

TheCraftedCow
05-05-2016, 08:25 PM
For the look of a friction tuner and the performance of geared tuner, nothing else comes even close to PEGHEDS. There are two shaft lengths. One is 27.5mm from the front of the headstock, so if the thickness is 1/2 inch thick (13mm) there is14mm sticking out the back. With the shorter ones at 19mm, there is only6mm of shaft out the back. See the article on www.ukeeku.com for a comparison of geared tuners. If you are curious about them, send me an email at thecraftedcow@comcast.net Yes, I am a distributor.

Doc_J
05-06-2016, 02:16 AM
If you're OK with friction tuners, I'd go with Waverly or Grover Champion. I understand PEGHEDs require some tapered reaming of the hole and a little glue.